A few years ago, I set out to start a blog. A food blog! I was going to call it “Too full for school”.. clever.. right? No, it was a ridiculous name for a food blog. Very cheesy.. and no one would “get it”… And my writing- terrible! And heck, what do I know? No one would want to read what I have to say. Plus, where will I ever get the time to keep up with regular posts?? I came up with more and more excuses not to write a blog. So I never did.
But guess what? Something came over me in the past week, and I decided, dammit, I’m starting my blog. With friends and family constantly asking me for cooking tips and recipes, I figured there is at least some interest! Right? I owe it to them. And I owe it to myself! So here I am. Self consciously writing a tell-all, food-filled, time-consuming, grammatically incorrect, politically incorrect, perhaps even culinarily (i know, its not even a word) incorrect blog. And maybe, juuust maybe, you’ll stick around to read it. (please?)
Ok. So now that I’ve gotten my self-doubt and pity-party out of the way, on to my first ramble. I saw no better time than right now to start my blog. Why you ask? There is never a time when I am more passionately consumed with a particular food than I am at this very moment. Because, ladies and gentlemen: We are right smack dab in the middle of the glorious summer tomato season.
This is what dream about in January.
Glorious, multicolored, misshapen, zebra striped, tye dyed tomatoes. Big ones, little ones, fat ones, skinny ones…. Those tiny, candy-sweet sun golds…. UGH! I die.
My husband, Chaser, just cant seem to understand my affinity for tomatoes. “Its just a tomato.. chilllll out”… he has said to me at least once a day for the past week or two. I told him its my life goal to one day get him to adore ripe summer tomatoes the way I do. But, between you and me, I’m not sure I ever will. Its just something you gotta feel inside. Like true love. AmIright??
This time of year, I always set out to eat as many tomatoes as possible. So many that by the time they are out of season, I’m completely sick of them. Since the tomatoes go from ethereal to bland in a matter of weeks, it is my hope to be so tomatoed-out by October that I don’t even want to see another one until next July. That never actually happens though – a sad reality when you love tomatoes this much.
So for the next few weeks, I plan on bombarding this blog with lots of tomatoey goodness. Pictures, recipes, stories about my garden, and just some general tomato love and good times. So if you are a tomato freak like me, then read on.
I subscribe to a few good food magazines, bon appetit being one of them. Last summer, I opened up my mailbox to find the latest issue with the most gorgeous open faced tomato feta sandwich on the cover. I had to make it, immediately. And I’m SO glad I did. I ate that sandwich almost every day last summer, and couldn’t wait until the tomatoes got good enough to make it again. Its become part of my weekly repertoire this year too. It just doesn’t get old.
This is the sandwich last year:
And this is the sandwich I just made yesterday:
yum. Its 9:30 am and I’m about to go make this again. Its that good.
You can find the original recipe for the sandwich here. I’ve adapted my version to be a little different. First, I need to stress that the quality of ingredients will make or break your bottom line. Use mediocre tomatoes, feta, bread, and olive oil.. and ok, you will still have a decent meal. But use top quality ingredients and your results will be amazing. I know, I sound like the Barefoot Contessa when I stress using GOOD ingredients. But I speak the truth. Start out by toasting a slice of good Italian bread. If you are in New Jersey and can get your hands on some Calandra’s, use that. I like to use a middle slice from the medium panella. That way you get a nice, long piece. But really, any bread will do. You can up the ante by grilling the bread if you are feeling ambitious (bonus points for grilling on charcoal). Then, like with classic bruschetta, take a raw clove of garlic and rub it against the toasted bread to release the oils. Drizzle the bread with some olive oil. Next, top it with a few slices of the best frigging tomatoes you can find. Preferably some that were grown in someones backyard in Jersey. But again, do the best you can. Then, salt and pepper those bad boys. Top with some thin slices of feta. I like a mild, non-goatey feta, but use what YOU like. Then, fresh herbs. I like chives and basil best. But use oregano, parsley, chervil, thyme. Its your sandwich after all. Finish by drizzling copious amounts of your best olive oil. I have an olive oil obsession that rivals my tomato obsession. But I’ll save that for a later post.
Make this sandwich today for lunch. You won’t be disappointed.